BY SAMMY WEJINYA
Luckless Rivers United came unstuck in Lagos as an early Chijioke Akuneto penalty handed Mountain of Fire & Miracles (MFM) MFM a 1-0 victory.
Rivers United dominated the Nigeria Professional Football League clash decided at the Agege Stadium but failed to translate their superiority to goals.
The hosts started briskly and were awarded a penalty in the third minute.
Akuneto stepped up and fired low and hard into the bottom corner to give the hosts the lead.
The visitors then took over, dominating the rest of the half and indeed, the game but failed to convert their chances at the opportune moments.
Head coach of MFM, Fidelis Ilechukwu conceded that the visitors had the better chances and probably deserved more than they got on the day.
“Rivers United is a fantastic side. It’s all about converting chances.
“The only problem they had today was about their strikers putting the ball in the back of the net.
“But talking about the quality (that they possess), they are a perfect team,” Ilechukwu said.
Wasiu Jimoh had a free kick kept out from hitting the back of the net by a goal line clearance on 31 minutes.
The big Rivers United forward had an even better opportunity to open the scoring four minutes later when he came face to face with with the MFM goalkeeper, Folarin Abayomi but he dragged his effort wide across the face of goal.
Wasiu was to, unbelievably have yet another opportunity, a minute later, to level matters but for the umpteenth time.
Ossy Martins struck a fierce effort from the edge of the box wide as the half drew to a close.
The visitors continued to dominate proceedings and
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with the visitors controlling the game but consistently failing to hit the underbelly of the opposition.
The nadir of the plethora of chances missed was recorded with 16 minutes from the end why Martins inexplicably missed an open goal from two yards out.
Technical manager of United, Stanley Eguma also voiced his opinion on the defeat.
“It wasn’t a bad game. It was just that we failed to convert the chances that we created,” Eguma disclosed to the club’s official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
Rivers United dropped to seventh place on the log, following Sunday’s defeat in Lagos, with a total of 23 points from 17 games while MFM moved up to third on the log with 27 points from 17 games.
Rivers United will next face Enyimba in Port Harcourt in their next league game on Wednesday, May 8.